Forty years is a long time to be married to somebody. Inevitably during this time there will be good and bad times. A successful partnership is based, amongst other things, on compromise, trust and good communication.
But when the two parties decide they want very different things, a split is inevitable if those wishes cannot be reconciled.
The momentous decision taken last week by the British people feels very much like an acrimonious divorce from the European Union.
As EU head Jean-Claude Juncker didn't very graciously put it, it was 'not an amicable divorce', but it 'was not a tight love affair anyway'.
Since the decision was taken that there would be a referendum, we have been bombarded with biased information from both sides, had to listen to the endless arguing and vitriol just like parties involved in a disintegrating relationship.
So now it's over, we've reached splitsville, and the squabbling over the children, dog and crockery begins.
Where do we go from here? There are so many unknowns, it's impossible to predict. Only time will tell. There's a long process involved including invoking Article 50 and we will have to wait and see.
What we do know so far is that David Cameron has resigned. A predictable response, but I don't think it's the right one. What we need now is a period of stability and transition, not more uncertainty as we watch the wrangling while Tories vie for the leadership role instead of concentrating on sorting out the next steps.
The prospect of another Scottish Referendum has been raised, and there are questions about Gibraltar and Northern Ireland too. We may even have another General Election, who knows.
However, whether or not you voted for this outcome - or indeed voted at all - we must recognise that this result is the will of the majority of the people in Britain.
We live in a democracy, and we need to accept it, all work together and move on.